DITABA No. 21 – August 1 2015


(The Bishop is out on all Saturdays and Sundays till the end of the year at Confirmations and various other functions. Every Thursday afternoon he is in Radio Veritas 567 Medium Wave.)

Aug 3 Congratulations to St. John Vianney Seminary as they celebrate their annual feast day
Aug 4-11 The Bishop will be away at Marianhill for the annual Plenary Session of the Southern African Catholic Bishops Conference. While he is away Fr. Robert, Vicar General, will be in-charge.
Aug 4 Priest meeting at Santa Sophia. There will be medical checks.
Aug 12 Priests Council will meet at Santa Sophia
Aug 13 Seminarians will come to the Bishop’s house for breakfast.
Aug 14 Mass at Assumption Convent in the morning.
Confirmation at CBC at 6PM.
Aug 15 4 Holy Cross Sisters will celebrate their Jubilee and one brave soul will celebrate her Diamond Jubilee at Lady Selbourne
Blessing of new chapel of the Holy Spirit Sisters at Valhalla
Vigil at the Cathedral for the Assumption of our Lady, the national Patroness, Fr. Karabo is organising. The Bishop will give the opening talk.
Aug 16 Archdiocesan Pilgrimage in honour of our Lady to the shrine at Jonathan in the parish of Jericho. The north western deanery led by Fr. Molapo will look after the preparations. This year youth and adults will go together. The presider will be Archbishop George Daniel as we continue to give thanks for his Jubilee.
Aug 18 Bishop will be on holiday in Ireland
Sept 5 Meeting of parents and families of seminarians
Sept 8 Eastern Deanery meeting
Sept 12-13 Beatification of Benedict Daswa in Thoyando, Limpopo
Sept 14-18 Communications Workshop at Lumko
Sept 19 Confimation at Monavoni
Sept 20 Justice and Peace Sunday
Annual Deanery celebration of the Holy Cross in Siyabuswa
Sept 22 Evangelisation meeting at Jolivet House
Sept 23 Consultors’ Meeting
Workshop on Mediation at Queenswood
Blessing of a new church dedicated to St. Francis of Assisi at Siyabuswa, at the outstation of Makonsetsane
Sept 27 Confirmation at St. Vincent
Sept 28-Oct 2 Priests and Deacons Retreat at Good Shepherd in Haartebeespoort. It is extremely important that every priest and deacon in the archdiocese has a retreat every year.
Sept 30 Properties Meeting at the Bishop’s House
Oct 4 Great Launch of RENEW at Saulsville Arena
Oct 7 Meeting of St Vincent de Paul Society from all over South Africa
Oct 9-11 Retreat for New Catechist


2. On Sunday the 16th of August the Archdiocesan Pilgrimage in honour of the Assumption of Our Lady will take place in Jonathan in the parish of Jericho. The Northwest Deanery as usual, will organise the proceedings. The chief presider of the Liturgy will be Archbishop George Daniel as we will be giving thanks to God for his service to the Archdiocese and to the Church, as priest for 50 years and as bishop for 40 years.

3. We welcome Fr. Fidelis SMA as priest in Sunnyside.
We welcome Fr. Ian who will work in the parish of St George in Saulsville.
We are happy that Fr. Daniel of the Consolata Fathers is working at St. Peter Calver in Mamelodi.
Fr. Evantus SMA is the parish priest in Jericho.
It was with great joy that the archdiocese celebrated the ordination of Fr. Zanele Libelo on the 27th of June. Congratulations to him and his family and also to the Northern Deanery for a well organised celebration. Fr. Zanele will work as priest in-charge in Mamaneng.
On the same occasion seminarian, John Paul Matebula was ordained a deacon.

4. While we say welcome to many excellent people coming to work with us, we say good bye to some of the people who have lighted up the road for our communities for many years. On Wednesday August 5th, Sr. Juliana of the Handmaids of Christ the Priest was laid to rest at St. Camillus. Sr. Juliana was with the first group of Novices with the Handmaids under their founder, Fr. Blais.
We also said good bye to Sr. Mary Majella at Lady Selbourne. Sr. Welcomed everybody who came to Lady Selbourne and was sacristan there for her final years. Her surname, means “servant of Jesus”, she certainly was such for many years.

5. Congratulations to Fr. Isaac Ramakgolo, our Vocations Director, who called together many young men to speak about the diocesan priesthood at St. Camillus last July 10 – 12, 2015. I wish to encourage all priests and all the people to work together so we can find new vocations. 33 young men attended and God willing some will dedicate themselves to God as priests. Our archdiocese has a great need in the light of its growing population and many churches to adequately serve the people.

6. The Catechetic coordinators with Fr Geoffrey and his team organised a weekend retreat and workshop at Woord ‘n Aksie. Catechetics is preaching the Gospel, our fundamental mission. This was an excellent retreat.
Renee D’Oliveira, our former school boards chairperson, will be offering special courses for those who are committed to teaching Catechetics starting in January. It would be a certified course. Renee will offer an excellent course for those who wish to get a holistic grasp of teaching the faith. If you have someone who would like to attend it will run right through the year. One day a month for 2016. Contact her at 071-3875167.
And Violet Ramathunya keeps contact with all our Catholic schools and our chaplains. Please encourage our parents to take an active part in their local school and especially in Catholic schools. If we have Catholic parents on school governing bodies our schools would be much richer in our Catholic ethos.

7. On the 2nd of August, Fr. Senona had the joy with his community in Dark City at Ekangala of blessing a new church dedicated to St. Phillip and James. This was a wonderful celebration and even more wonderful in that the initiative comes from the priest and his people and the monies came from them also. This is what all parishes must strive to do.

8. On Tuesday, 4th of August, Discovery Insurance people will be with us at Santa Sophia. We have a Hospital Plan with them and they are sending specialists to offer us medical examinations. All are encouraged to be on that scheme and also to encourage the parishioners to pay the R650 a month to cover it.

9. Charges have been withdrawn by the prosecution against Fr. Craig Laubscher.

10. The Catholic Women’s League held their AGM at Silverton at the beginning of July. The bishop extended congratulations to the wonderful work being done by the league. We are proud that our team are the National team for the next 3 years, guiding the league all over South Africa. The work they do in Sunnyside and their outreach in Hammanskraal and in Mamelodi is a wonderful example of what Christianity can do. They have 7 social workers assisting poor people, students, women, families and all who are in need.

11. Congratulations to the Stigmatine Fathers and Brothers! They had their Chapter recently at Bertoni Centre. The South African, Tanzanian, Botswana unit is now a province on its own right. Fr. David from Tanzania was elected as the Provincial with Fr. Hamilton as Vice Provincial. Congratulations and thank you!

12. From the 13th-15th of July the Chaplains of the Army, the Police, and prison met at the Comboni Study Centre with the Archbishop who was responsible for Specialised Ministries in the country. It was an excellent meeting dealing with workshops with bereavement and counselling. Fr. Simon Kimali, a Passionist, with the air force has gone to another country in service and will be away for another 6 months in a dangerous war-like area. Please pray for him. A highlight also of the meeting was to be received at the Nunciature by Msgr. Kevin who was also a Chaplain in the past.

13. 650 altar servers met at Laudium for their annual workshop recreation. Fr. Herman Mole led the proceedings assisted by priests and also dedicated parents.

14. Formators and media people met at the Padre Pio Capuchin Centre. The meeting was convened by IMBISA took place from the 20th to the 25th of July. 52 formators came to consider evangelisation, formation and communication. The bishop gave the opening address.

15. Now that Neo is back at the desk full time, there are many youth gatherings celebrated at the various deaneries. The Bishop was delighted to attend the meeting organised led by Fr. Senona and Pheto Madala.
Please contact Neo about going to the Mini World Youth Day at Walkerville at the Salesian Centre in the 1st week of December. 65 youths of our archdiocese are invited to attend and there will be youth from every diocese in the country. This is a great opportunity for young people who cannot attend the world youth day with the Holy Father next year in Krakow in Poland.
Those wishing to go to Poland, please contact Neo and make plans immediately because soon the time will be upon us.
The Mini World Youth Day will be modelled on recent World Youth Days. Youth from every Diocese in South Africa will attend to pray and celebrate together, to receive Catechesis from the Bishops, to share their experience and hopes with one another. This is really a pilgrimage for youth and if approached in a spirit of devotion and faith it will be a great experience of joy for them.

16. The Diocese has heavy obligations regarding the building needs of our area. We are waiting for tenders to begin work at the Church at Naledi Ya Meso in Soshanguve. We are also drawing up and finalising building plans at St. Ambrose also at Soshanguve. We are helping the parish of Midrand to acquire a property beside the present Church hall at Olifanstsfontein as the community there is growing. We also must consider with the Holy Trinity in Midrand the provision of a Church on the west side of the N1 catering for the people in the southern part of Olievenhoutbosch down as far as Kyalami.

17. The Bishop invites all the parishes to spend some time meditating and praying leading up to the beatification of Benedict Daswa. All are invited to go to Thoyando on Sunday the 13th of September. If Parishes organise buses it will be an ideal way to travel. It is a long journey. I strongly encourage the priests to speak of Benedict Daswa and also to help the people to pray the novena in preparation for the beatification. By being beatified he becomes an ancestor of the universal church and not just of his family only. He is a man who died for his faith and therefore he is a martyr. He died rejecting one element of his traditional culture which he felt was in conflict with the Gospel. Much information can be had on his website provided by the Diocese of Tzaneen. (www.daswabeatification.org.za)

18. An extremely important moment in our archdiocese is the launching of RENEW. The diocesan core team has been preparing parish core teams for the last year. We are now ready to launch on October 4 at the arena in Saulsville. The place can take simply 3800. So please make plans to be there and then participate. This is a wonderful opportunity to enrich each other reflecting together on the Word of God and on life today. The RENEW program is easy and is broken into segments. After the first 5 weeks, there’s a long break before the next segment comes. It is not a heavy program.
The parish launch of Renew will take place on the following Sunday 11th of October in each parish. We expect every parish to make a collection of R2000 for the running of Renew. Banners can be acquired through the Chancery. If you have queries, contact Tshepiso Matle at 082 800 5080 or Sr. Laura Lepori at 079 577 7286.

19. Fr. Mngadi, the National Secretary of Communication Desk with the Bishop met with people engaged in media throughout South Africa. People feel we should be more aggressive in our approach to the media and in the presentation of our news. A wonderful work is being done by the Catholic Church and we are not advertising it enough.

20. There was a meeting at Jolivet House in which the Archdiocese, Xaveri Movement, and Fr. Juma who is establishing Caritas in South Africa. This meeting was to coordinated all our charitable programs and projects throughout the diocese. A lot has been taking place but we could do a lot more if we knew what each other was doing and supported each other and cooperated. Caritas is the Papal movement for caring for the needy all over the world. We wish to be part of that worldwide movement.

21. Congratulations to Brothers Emmanuel and Godfrey of the Stigmatine congregation were ordained deacons at Pretoria North on July the 25th.

22. The Sacred Heart Sodality met at Woord ‘n Aksie for their annual retreat at the beginning of July. The Sodality gave a very generous gift to help the archdiocese. The meeting was marked with a great sense of devotion, prayerfulness, joy and commitment to the Church.

Yours faithfully,

+Archbishop William Slattery, OFM
Archdiocese of Pretoria

From the Bishops August Plenary Session

1. Archbishop Steven Brislin of Cape Town was re-elected as the President of the SACBC. Bishop Sipuka of Umtata will be the first Vice President and Bishop Valentine Seane of Gaborone will be the second Vice President.

2. Sr. Hermenegild Makoro was re-appointed as Secretary General and Patrick Rakeketsi as Assistant Secretary General.

3. The Conference seeks to ensure that there are properly resourced translation committees in all the languages for our liturgical texts and documents.

4. In response to the visit of the Lesotho Bishops, the SACBC will seek to coordinate assistance to Lesotho and the Lesotho Bishop’s Conference.

5. The Conference express concern at the continued expressions of racism in South Africa and is working to provide the process for small group reflection on issues related to this topic.

6. The Conference received with joy the formal letter of Pope Francis declaring that the Servant of God Benedict Daswa will henceforth be known as Blessed Benedict Daswa. His remains will be exhumed and reburied in the little Church he helped to build. His feast day will be on the 1st of February each year.

7. In discussions to assist the Synod on Marriage and Family the SACBC emphasized the supreme value on the Sacrament of Marriage which is the foundation cell of society and culture. The Bishops however wanted to emphasize the supreme importance of Mercy in pastoral practice. The underlined the need to find positive values in the lives of single parent families and even in Civil Marriages.

8. The Conference will print leaflets in different languages highlighting the evil of pornography.

9. The Bishops commit our countries to celebrate in a special way the jubilee Year of Faith announced by Pope Francis. They will request religious congregations and diocesan clergy to form groups to conduct missions on the theme of Mercy throughout
the country.

10. The Conference encouraged the Department of Christian Formation to write a new 4-year program for the Sacrament of Confirmation “Living the Word, Learning the Faith”

11. Next year, it was agreed to provide workshops on exorcism and to train priests to become involved in this ministry.

12. The Conference encourages priests and parishes to focus on Marriage and Family Life during the weeks from the 21st Sunday of the year until the 27th Sunday of the year, this year.

13. The Bishops approved seven texts in Afrikaans for use in worship.

14. The Bishops wishes sincere gratitude to the Catholics of the country in contributing over R10 million during the Lenten collection this year. Pretoria contributed R688,506,05 which is an increase of 6% on last year.